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Forest Ghosts 2023

By  jess bugler 2023
Forest Ghosts and Forest Books are part of an exploration of the state of aloneness, using the theme of a wooded enclosure of trees. Both works are created from the same carborundum plates. In Forest Ghosts, the ghost prints of the plate are used. So, these prints are the fourth print emerging from the press after inking, creating a series of shadow like images. The 10 prints are hung on top of each other, so the viewer can see through them, and feel the sense of the forest. In the case of Forest Books, I approached the image-making differently. Again, the carborundum was inked but, prior to putting the plate through the press, and before the actual surface was wiped back to its eventual pale state, I monoprinted from it by hand. Under the light pressure of my hand the carborundum tree forms refuse to surrender their dense deposits of ink but the smooth plate relinquishes its partially wiped and expressive inky residue easily. This explains why the tonal relationship in the book pages is the reverse of those in the Forest Ghosts: the trees light in one and dark in the other. The substrates are in contrast too. I waxed Chinese paper for Forest Ghosts, which gives a slightly translucent weightlessness to the work. This speaks of airy impermanence and the movement through a thing. By contrast, the double-sided book pages on the wall have a solidity to them, they are more definitely present. The chaotic disquiet of the monoprinted book pages required order as well so I imposed a boundary of black binding tape on every edge, which adds to this more concrete quality. Writer, Rachel Cusk, talks about the ‘gift and burden’ of being alone. I think this dichotomy is mirrored in the contrasts between these two pieces; contrasts in both weight and tonal distribution. There and not there. Permanent and passing through.
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